Romanian is a Romance language spoken in Romania and in some neighbouring regions which were part of the country historically. It is also the official language of Moldova. There is a large Romanian diaspora, with a reported 26.3 million speakers worldwide. Perhaps due to its geographical distance from other Romance languages, Romanian has retained more Latin features than its counterparts.
Romanian has regional dialects which are mutually intelligible. In Moldova, Romanian is called Moldovan.
In the fourteenth century, the Cyrillic alphabet was adopted to write Romanian but the country later switched to the Latin script.
When translating from Romanian to English, the word count tends to decrease. This is largely due to terminology. For instance, in technical translations, Romanian often does not have direct equivalents for English terms, so an explanation is required.
Romanians are proud of their strong traditions which are recognised worldwide. A favourite national dish is sarmale, cabbage rolls stuffed with ground meat, rice and other tasty ingredients. Romanian folk music is distinctive, and often sentimental; for instance, the doina is a mournful, solemn song with themes such as love or longing. Some of Romania’s classical musicians have achieved world-wide success, such as George Enescu, a composer and violinist whose work was influenced by his Romanian folk roots. Other famous Romanians include Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 in an Olympics event, the footballer Gheorghe Hagi, and the pioneering sculptor Constantin Brâncuși.